Restorative Practices are based on principals of restorative justice which seek to repair the harm caused by conflict, violence or violations of law. Resolution Services Center currently has two restorative justice programs;the school based program was founded in 2004 with a pilot project at Pattengill Middle School in Lansing. It has since expanded to serve multiple school districts. This program uses transformative conferencing and peace circles in schools in order to resolve peer conflicts and reduce the number of days youth are suspended from the learning environment.
What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative Justice is a peaceful conflict resolution tool that brings together people who have had a conflict to find a way to heal the harm.
This program targets conflict situations in schools by engaging all affected parties in a process which:
- Addresses the conflict at its root;
- Imposes accountability on and empowers those who have done harm to correct the harm caused by his/her behavior;
- Empowers those who have been harmed to define what he or she needs to heal from the harm done; and
- Teaches and engages youths (and sometimes their families) in peaceful conflict resolution practices.
How Does It Work?
Sitting in a circle, the participants are asked three questions:
Everyone shares their story to gain a common understanding.
Who was affected and how?
Those who were harmed, those who did harm, families, school, community.
How do we heal the harm, or, what can be done to make things right?
Accountability, apology, compensation and community service.
Quotes from those who have used Restorative Justice:
“The restorative justice program really helps you express your feelings to others and feel better about yourself, knowing that you don’t have to fight to prove your point.” – Middle school female
“Restorative Justice has helped make our school a safer, more humane place for students to be educated.” – High School principal
The Central Michigan Restorative Justice Initiative has developed from a partnership between the Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan and local school districts, to bring the use of Restorative Justice into school discipline systems. The following is a list of the schools we serve:
Wexford Montessori Magnet School, Lansing School District
Eastern High School, Lansing School District
Pattengill Academy, Lansing School District
Whitehills Elementary School, East Lansing Public Schools
Glencairn Elementary School, East Lansing Public Schools
MacDonald Middle School, East Lansing Public Schools
Hope Middle School, Holt Public Schools
Waverly Middle School, Waverly Public Schools